Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 1.25.16 PMAssistance League® to Hand Out School Uniforms to over 3,600 students through its Operation School Bell® Program this Year

(Minneapolis) – Budgets are tight for a lot of Twin Cities’ families, particularly those whose children attend schools with a high percentage of students in free and reduced lunch programs. So again this year, they will be getting a helping hand from Assistance League Minneapolis/St. Paul.

About 3,600 students, who attend kindergarten through 5th grade at six schools in North Minneapolis and two in St. Paul where uniforms are required, will be receiving free school uniforms this year. Each student will be outfitted with three complete school uniforms, which include three pairs of khaki pants, three navy shirts and one crew-neck sweatshirt. The cost for outfitting each child is $28.  Money for the program comes from sales at the Assistance League Thrift Shop in Richfield as well as from donations and grants.

The Minneapolis schools being served this year are Lucy Craft Laney, Nellie Stone, Cityview, Elizabeth Hall, Jenny Lind and Bethune Elementary Schools.

Media outlets are welcome to attend the uniform distribution at Lucy Craft Laney School, located at 3333 Penn Avenue North 55412 in Minneapolis on Wed., Sept. 9 between 10 a.m. and Noon. Uniform distribution will be done in the school’s multi-purpose room.


Among the photo opportunities that will be available:

  • Close-ups of the piles of school uniforms waiting for the kids.
  • Students shopping with a personal shopper who helps make sure they get the right sizes.
  • Interview with Assistance League Minneapolis/St. Paul President Deb Sholl and V.P. Philanthropic Programs, Carolyn Pierce

The two St. Paul schools being served this year are Maxfield Elementary and Riverview West Side School of Excellence. St. Paul students will receive their uniforms on Sept. 29 and 30. Also of note, again this year Ashley Furniture has donated a truck and driver to transport uniforms from Assistance League’s warehouse in Hopkins to the schools where uniform distribution is being done

According to a teacher survey done this spring at Twin Cities schools where uniforms are worn, 100 percent of respondents said the program has had a positive impact on their schools. One teacher stated, “Many of our families could not provide the new clothes themselves due to financial difficulties.”

An elementary school social worker said, “I think uniforms are critical to increasing the academic, social and emotional learning of our scholars.” Another teacher said, “They come to school looking like a learner.”

“This is the 20th year we’ve done this program, and unfortunately the need never seems to go away. We have a lot of members who tell us the school uniform distribution day is their favorite experience of the year. They love seeing the smiles on the faces of the kids who are properly dressed and ready to learn. In a lot of cases, these may be the only new clothes the children receive the entire year,” said Carolyn Pierce, V.P. Philanthropic Programs for Assistance League Minneapolis/St. Paul.

About Assistance League Minneapolis St. Paul

Assistance League is a nonprofit organization of volunteers committed to identifying unmet needs and addressing them through programs developed and administered by its members. It is a 501(c) (3) philanthropic nonprofit, nonpolitical, nonsectarian, all-volunteer organization.

The money for the programs is generated from the Assistance League Thrift Shop and from grants and donations. Each year, over 170 members work to fund and serve  community programs.

The Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter is one of 120 Assistance League chapters nationwide. To learn more about Assistance League Minneapolis/St. Paul, visit                 

- End -